Evidence-based decision-making is a useful framework for the development of policies and practices to ensure water security, ecosystem resilience, and productive societies. The term “evidence-based” is gradually yielding to the term “data-driven” as focus shifts from specified data (i.e. fit-for purpose) to data discovery (i.e. big data) as the source of evidence....

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Water drop resource graphic.

Imagine a pioneer family living on a homestead with no running water or electricity. Hauling water from the creek and heating it up on the wood stove to fill the bath tub is hard work. You don’t use the water once and then start over — everyone in the family gets a turn to have a bath using the same water. In such close quarters the...

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Plastic bottle floating on a brown river.

In the modern world, it is rude and inconsiderate to indiscriminately consume resources for one time use. It is not socially acceptable to litter the landscape with trash. It may have taken years of public education for the message to take hold, but the outcome is less pressure on our environment and a higher quality of life for everyone. Why is there a different ethic for hydrometric...

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Glasses and calculator on sheets of data.

Data about water quantity and water quality are fundamental to some of the most important decisions made by engineers and in choices made by societies. Abundance and quality of water are critical factors in many aspects of our economy, our environment, and our social and physical well-being. It is the case than multiple water resources objectives must be simultaneously managed. The costs of sub-optimal water resources choices can be substantial. Uncertainty is antagonistic to optimization.

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Graph of long-tail data.

How long is the tail of hydrometry? A solution for the gap between data availability and the impacts of water variability, across all scales of interest, on people and the environment is needed. One of my great hopes for the development of OGC standards for interoperable hydrometric data is that it will shed light on the dark data under the long tail of hydrometry. It is...

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Apple resting on a stack of books.

I have blogged previously about disinformation and discharge as a virtual variable but have now visited the very heart of the matter in a peer review of a manuscript for a prestigious journal. The experience was not pleasant. My perspective, coming from a hydrometric background, was quite different than the other two anonymous reviewers who, I would guess, probably have academic backgrounds. I strongly objected to the...

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